Production Update for Our Town by Leslie Jacobsen - Director
(To be in the loop for further information and events for this production, please like & follow the ‘Peace Pipe Players Community Theatre, Maquoketa Iowa’ and/or the ‘PPP – Our Town – Play Space’ pages on Facebook.)
While the last weekend in October seems SO far away, I know the summer will go by quickly! In order to have plenty of time to assemble a cast and crew for Our Town, I’d like to start having production-related events as soon as this month.
The plan is for Our Town to be a staged “book in hand” production. It will not be a seated reading. Characters with fewer lines may be asked to memorize. Our Town is intended to be performed with very little in the way of set and props, so there is a fair amount of pantomime used. Because we’re able to bypass the “hard work” of memorizing, I’m planning to do a lot of character work with the actors – the fun stuff!!
I’d like to encourage those of you who have been in PPP productions in the past, and in our recent plays/readings to consider participating in this production. I’m hoping that we can put together a very meaningful interpretation of Our Town. And, it’s being done in conjunction with Layers of Maquoketa, so hopefully we will have a big audience turnout.
And…if you’ve never done anything with us, this would be a great time to join us! (I’m especially looking at those of you who have mentioned that you’d “love to do something, but all that memorizing!”)
Sunday August 4th, 6:00pm and Tuesday August 6th 6:00pm.
At the PPP Playhouse – 400 N Eliza Street
Mark your calendars! Readings will be from the script. Come prepared with some idea of the part(s) for which you’d like to audition.
Cast Members Needed:
There will be a future post on the specific characters, age ranges, line loads, etc. The script calls for 27 distinct actors, but owing to the light line load of some characters, there are parts that can be doubled up. There are also several characters that can be played by either gender actor. This is what I’ll be looking for in general:
8-10 male actors, starting as young as 13 (no upper limit on age)
10-12 female actors, starting as young as 13 (no upper limit on age)
Backstage/Offstage Members Needed:
Is being on stage not your thing? Or does your schedule not allow you to make a performance commitment? There are still plenty of ways you can help out, and be a valuable member of the production. If any of the below sound like something you’d like to take on, please let me know at the workshops, auditions, or reach out to me directly on FB.
Stage Manager – Assist with rehearsals by noting blocking, being on book for lines, keeping track of props, run the show during performances, and myriad other invaluable duties.
Commitment: The stage manager will attend all/most rehearsals, and all performances.
Producer – Assist the director with tracking the budget, and managing deliverables and deadlines.
Commitment: Be available for a brief production meeting every other week or so early in the rehearsal process, and then more often closer to the performances.
Sound Technician – There are a large number of sound cues in Our Town. The technician will need to procure the sounds (either with digitally recorded cues, or the means to create live ones), and play/perform them during the productions.
Commitment: Most of the sound cue procurement can occur outside of rehearsal. The final solution for all cues will need to be finalized 3 weeks prior to the performances.
Dramaturg – Our Town is full of references to the time in which it was written (1930s). The dramaturg will research these references, and share them with the cast, to inform everybody’s understanding of the play. If you like history, and looking things up, this could be for you!
Commitment: starting any time, with the majority of the research done prior to the first table read, and then as needed after that.
Costumes, Hair & Makeup – Our Town takes place at a very specific time in the past, and the costumes and hairstyles will need to reflect that time. This will hopefully be accomplished by pulling from PPP’s costume storage, the local thrift stores, and even from our own closets!
Commitment: Once the show has been cast, meet with the director periodically to discuss each character’s costume, and what is needed. Costumes must be finalized 3 weeks prior to the performances.
Set Crew – While there are only a few key set pieces used in each act, they will need to be changed out during intermissions, and reset for the next show.
Commitment: Be available for technical rehearsals two weeks prior to the performances, and attend both performances. If interested, help to procure/build needed set pieces throughout the summer.
If you haven’t already, please join the “PPP – Our Town – Play Space” group on Facebook, to see more news & and upcoming events planned for Our Town.